TV + easy = tizi ['tI:si]

by Volker Weber


There is a new toy at vowe's magic flying circus, which brings DVB-T channels to your iPhone, iPod touch (3rd & 4th gen), and iPad. Tizi is a small and elegant device that runs off a battery for a couple of hours and charges over Mini-USB. It does not come with a charger but with a cable so you can just use the Apple charger that you will be carrying anyway. Tizi works as a Wi-Fi access point, which can be secured with a password. You download an app from the iTunes store, connect your iOS device to the Tizi access point, scan for channels and you are all set. Tizi asks you to use your current location so it can speed up the scanning because it then knows from other scans which channels to look for. Installation was absolutely painless, and with great DVB-T coverage in Hannover I was watching TV in no time.

If you switch away from the Tizi app on iOS4, it can continue to play the audio stream so that you know when to come back after a commercial break. It also can record TV, but it won't do it on a time schedule. It pretty much does everything I expected it to. There was only one thing I did not consider. Since you connect your device over Wi-Fi to Tizi, you will lose Internet connectivity through Wi-Fi. iPad 3G and iPhone will still have Internet access through the mobile network, but for iPod touch and iPad Wi-Fi, you will only get to watch TV while using Tizi.

Tizi is not broadcasting the current TV channel over Wi-Fi. It is sending the data stream received over DVB-T to the iOS device, where it is rendered as audio and video and also populates the channel overview with data about the running and the next show. This leads to one limitation: only one device can control and watch TV at the same time. If more than one iOS device connect to Tizi, the last one wins.

It's a great experience, but there is one caveat: compared to simple TV USB sticks, it's rather expensive. Tizi sells for 149 €.

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Interesting concept...but: If you've (a) a Mac (b) a cheap USB-DVB-T stick (c) the Eye-TV-App both on your Mac and your iPad, you can watch LiveTv, recordings, scan through the EPG, schedule new recordigs and still use the internet. I admit TIZI skips the MAC to watch TV but for a price... I like EyeTV very much, especially its capability to schedule new recordings via internet / TVTV-service. Did you try EyeTV?

Jens Nullmeyer, 2011-03-03 10:42

Hi Jens, the concept of tizi is a bit different: Thanks to the integrated mobile TV hotspot it doesn't affect your data plan when you're on the go (which can be quiet a lot if you're streaming TV via 3G). Furthermore you neither have to leave your computer switched on at home nor your internet connection up and running. With tizi we've focussed on mobile usage on iPad and iPhone. No cable, no adapter needed, easy setup ... even my parents can handle it without having me to ask for help. Recordings are stored on the device itself (without quality loss) and can be transferred via iTunes to your computer ... And yes, I work for equinux

Christian Dallmayer, 2011-03-03 12:28

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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